Day 29: Another’s Space

Do I want to be a mother?

Do I want to grow a person in my body,

or bring a child into my life?

Can I let myself expand till the Universe fits inside?

Do I want to give birth? The gift of birth.

The opportunity to live and move and have a being?

Do I want to feed and nurture? The phrase to me

conjures soft fur, lapping tongues, and the pads of paws.

Can I look into a perfect baby’s eyes,

put my whole heart in their chubby little hands,

and send them off on a yellow bus

for life to have its wicked way with them?

Do I want to attempt to teach another soul

the ropes of a human life when I’m still

dangling from them with my hands tied?

Can I handle another being’s tantrums as well as my own?

Someone else’s deep sensitivities?

Can I surrender to all the ways I will screw up?

The things I will say wrong,

or the decisions that will destroy them?

Can I handle other parents,

the judgments or the over-protection?

Do I want to help with homework,

do spelling tests and algebraic equations?

Can I split the attention and love

I want – I need – to devote to a partner?

Do I want to deal with the screaming, the biting,

the door slamming or the rejection?

Can I walk my germophobic feet into an elementary school

full of sneezing and dirty hands?

Or do I just want to see space reflected in an innocent face,

let their hand curl around my finger,

coo over how sweetly they smile,

and then return them to their mother,

and go home where my own universe

waits in bed with a wife

and assorted animals.



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Day 21: Temple to Truth

In a sanctuary with walls

made of paper and stories,

I fall to my knees, with reverence still,

and whispers surround

of the tales and the turnings

they have left here for me.

Here, let me soak in a thousand languages

so I can ask in a thousand ways

Why? How? Tell me more.

Show me spirit from a million refracted angles,

let me catch its shadow

in centuries of dusty mirrors.

Lift up your feet,

what marks has your journey left on you?

I trace your scars like fault lines

and ache to know their origin.

Teach me, as I sink my hand in

the green water at the lure of a coin,

why the bubbles move that way

and tell me all the things we still don’t know.

May I expand till a world’s worth of

wisdom fits inside me,

as I build bridges of myself

with leather-bound volumes

and fractals of




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Day 20: Lamb to Slaughter

In a dungeon underground,

with damp walls and bars

and strangers resigned to

our dank, painful fate,

I don’t ask questions.

I sit where I can’t see

out of the windows.

This must all be needed,

since someone decrees it so.


An old man with a white beard

comes into the cell,

and I think he must know best,

even as he prepares his tools

to slice, dice, tear the heart from my chest.

I lay on his blood-stained slab.


Disappointment runs hot from my eyes.

I’m smarter than this.

I’m worth more that this.

But those self-assured voices know best.

And I’ve been cold and scared for so long.


Will I trade in the unknown

for a scrap of mundane certainty?

Even one as hopeless

and dark as a dungeon.




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Day 18: It Knows My Name

Betrayal is the breaking of a promise.

I swore in my heart to stay, dear one,

though I never said it out loud.

Our interlocked fingers had burnt down to ash

long before I let go,

only the shell of it left,

like a log that holds its shape

while its inside turn to grey powder,

ready to burst into a cloud of the past.

Is that the same as breaking?

I promised I would try,

cut myself open one last time

and found I was empty from all the trying.

I was so tired, honey.


Betrayal sounds like willful destruction,

to throw away someone’s naked gifts,

like broken china on the dying grass.

I never wanted to break;

just your permission to leave.

You see it as failure

– and I can hardly blame you –

as I take a sledgehammer

to our castle in the air.

Shaken and dazed,

I step out from the ruins,

blinking in the glow

of colours I’d forgotten

in the years of our ash-grey chamber.

Knees buckled into rubble

and old picture-frame glass,

your heart bleeds through your chest,

and the scars on my own

weep in recognition.

Forgive me, darling, for changing my mind.

Day 17: Meditation on Boundaries

Touch each other’s fingertips

and shut your eyes tight.

Pin out the point

where “you” becomes “them,”

and let it dissolve.

Feel for what tingles,

multiplied and pulled into concentration

where skin softly meets.

Let wisps of need and confusion dart

a dance in the interim of me and you,

till separation is muddied,

and we see in each other

an abundance of “us.”


Beloved, teach me to see You

in the eyes of every frightened soul,

show me that dance of light

in the cries of a child,

peel my fists from my sheltered heart

and whisper how to give myself

to every shivering hand,

to let the light spill

like sparks in the darkness.

Day 16: Sand and Snow

Think of all I miss,

locked into this box of

my worries, lusts, and mistaken identities

I could count in grains of sands,

and only fill the hourglass halfway.

Imagine the acres of faces

with open, waiting eyes,

voices raised in song,

the things which are no-things,

that stretch over the world so thin

I feel them less on my skin than snowflakes.

As they run me through

clean as an sharpened arrow

aimed at the space between my eyebrows,

they fill the gaps in the atoms,

if I’ll admit they are there.

But to let them permeate

the fortress around my thoughts

– that spilling hourglass –

guarded by the terror of what might be stolen,

I have to fight back the fight in me,

learn to walk with back bent forward

and twist heart open to the sky

at the same time.

How can my mind puzzle out the sense?

protecting as it does an empty safe,

so scared to find solace in invisible snow.



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Day 15: Waiting in Time

I sat down in the middle of the road.

While others hurtle past

I bend myself into the

petals of a flower born in mud.

I take my horse from the horse,

my name from the hat,

the phone from the hook.

I hit pause, not break, not quit.

I let the water still

and listen for the silence

that houses all.

I chase my happiness like

a pile of papers dropped on

the sidewalk, tumbling in the air.

The chase, that looks to you like stopping,

is spinning my insides upside-down,

moulding me back into star stuff.

Just wait till this cocoon splits.